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lands of Michael Chiasson, whom I also sent for, and after having measured the seven arpents, which, by decree of the 27th September, of this same year, were granted to him by the same governor aforesaid, I caused to be planted on it two stakes of mulberry tree; the first measuring four feet, &c. at twenty toises from the present margin of the river; and the second at twenty toises further back : after which I went on through the woods, and in the aforesaid direction of north seventy degrees east, on the same line, until the forty arpents in depth, at which point I caused to be planted a cypress stake, six feet long, &c. and at two arpents further from the river, I caused another stake to be planted, (that is, at 42 arpents from the river,) of the same size as the precedent, in order to keep the course. And for the end that all the above stated may be proven,

I give the present certificate, signed by me, together with the party Maurice Conway, and the commandant aforesaid, and interpreter in this case, the chief of the Indians having declared, as well as the two adjoining neighbours aforesaid, that they did * not know [ *554 ] how to sign; which I do attest—in the abovesaid court and district, the day, month, and year, above written.


Don Bernard de Galvez, colonel of the battalion of infantry of Louisiana, governor, inten

dant, and inspector pro tem. of the troops thereof, &c.

Having seen the proceedings of the second adjutant of this town, Captain Louis Andry, relative to the possession by him given to Maurice Conway, pursuant to the above decree issued by my predecessor, of all the vacant land lying behind and on the rear of the first forty arpents which he possesses, by ninety-six arpents in front on the river, following the same direction of these : and finding them to be conformable to the rules of survey, and agreeable to the concessions of the adjoining inhabitants, without causing to these last any harm or injury whatsoever, nor having by them been claimed; but, on the contrary, consented to it, as it appears by their assistance to the said operations.

Approving of the same, as we do by these presents approve; using of the power to us conferred by the king; we hereby do grant, in his royal name, to the said Maurice Conway, the aforesaid land behind or at the end of the forty arpents which contains his plantation, situated in the district of La Fourche, by ninety-six in front on the river, following the same direction which those run, in order that, it being his property, he may share and dispose of the same, ruling himself upon the aforesaid proceedings, and observing the conditions prescribed in the ordinance relative to this subject.

Given under our hand and seal, at the city of New Orleans,

and countersigned by our secretary, this 21st day of June, 1777.

BERNARDO DE GALVEZ. By order of his excellency.


(Under the preceding grant, more than one hundred thousand acres are now claimed, viz: on a front of about a league on the Mississippi. The upper boundary line, as claimed, runs parallel to the Mississippi as far as Manshak : the lower line stretches to lake Maurepas; and the back line, as claimed, extends from the Mississippi to the lower end of said lake, along the Iberville, Amite, and said lake. Note of the edilor of Land Laws, &c.)

No. 22. General permission to cut cypresses in Opelousas. The syndics of Opelousas, in the name of the inhabitants of our district, represent to your lordship, with all respect and truth possible, that the wood proper for enclosures and building, especially the cypress, has become so scarce in this post, that much difficulty is experienced in keeping up and repairing the estates, and, for want of it, that many are in ruins and abandoned. In consideration of [ *555 ) this, we beseech you, sir, earnestly, to favour * this post, which is in danger of ruin, by granting it the common use of all the cypress and cypress swamps not already conceded, in whatever part they may be found, on all the bayoux or elsewhere, in the whole extent of its jurisdiction, in every sense, exclusively of the land, to which we make no pretensions ; in such sort that the concession, if you shall deign to make it, may be a privilege common to every one of the inhabitants who shall desire to make use of it, and to which no individual can derogate by subsequent demands: a favour which we confidently solicit from your beneficence. Opelousas, 20th August, 1796.

Signed, &c.

To the Baron de Carondelet, field marshal of the armies of his

catholic majesty, chevalier of the religion of St. John, and
governor general of the provice of Louisiana.

The demand which the subscribers make, is in the name of the public, and is so far calculated for the general good, that, for want of the assistance demanded, many estates are in ruins. Opelousas, 20th August, 1796.


New Orleans, 12th April, 1797. Seeing the solid and just reasons stated, by all the syndics and inhabitants of the post of Opelousas, which are supported by the commandant Don Martin Durald, not only by his information of the

20th of August, of the year last past, but also in his official letter, No. 95, of the 14th of February, of the current year, with which my inclinations concur; I do grant, in the terms requested, the common use of all the cypresses and cypress swamps not heretofore granted, in whatever place they exist, as well in the marshes as elsewhere through the whole extent of that jurisdiction, and in whatever direction they may be met with ; under the express condition, that although, by this decree, the cypress swamps and cypresses are granted for the use of the inhabitants, the lands whereon they stand are not comprehended therein, they being excluded from the common use, which is confined expressly to the trees, it becoming the particular duty of the commandant and syndics of the post, to take care that the inhabitants make the prudent use of this license, which the wants of a well established society may require, and that they restrain the rapacious, who, without regard to those wants, may waste and cut more cypresses than the repairs of their fences and the necessary buildings on their farms may demand.


No. 23. Renauts claim to lead mines in Upper Louisiana.* SIR: Please to take notice, that I claim, as a complete title for Jean Baptiste Francois Meynaud and Amelia Joseph Renaut, his wife, of the empire of France, the lineal heir and legal representative * of Monsieur Renaut, "ancien directeur aux Illinois," [ *556 ] the two following tracts of land, situate and lying within the district of St. Genevieve, in the territory aforesaid, specially located and described in the words following, viz.: (Here follows the description.)

Which several tracts of land are of right, by legal inheritance, the property of the said Jean Baptiste Francois Meynaud and Amelia Joseph Renaut, by virtue of the original grant made “en franc alleu" (in liberum allodium) unto the said Monsieur Renaut, the grandfather of the said Amelia Joseph Renaut, bearing date at Fort Chartres, the 14th day of June, 1723; a certified copy of which is hereunto annexed, and which I request you to record. St. Louis, 10th February, 1808.

Attorney to J. B. F. Meynaud and Amelia Joseph Renaut.
To Frederick Bates, esquire,

Recorder of land titles for the territory of Louisiana.
* Now the Missouri territory. See act of 4th June, 1812 ; chap. 418, vol. 4. .

[TRANSLATION.] Year one thousand seven hundred and twenty-three, June fourteenth, granted to M. Renaut in freehold (en franc alleu) in order to make his establishments upon the mines:

A league and a half of ground in front upon the Little Marameig and in the river Marameig, at the place of the first fork which leads to the cabins called the Cabanage de Renaudiere, with a depth of six leagues, the river making the middle of the point of compass, and the small stream being perpendicular, as far as the place where the Sieur Renaut has his furnaces, and thence straight to the place called the Great Mine.

One league in front, at Pimiteau, on the river of the Illinois, facing the east, and adjoining to the lake, bearing the name of the village, and on the other side to the banks opposite the village, half a league above it, with a depth of five leagues, the point of compass following the Illinois river down the same upon one side, and ascending by the river of Arcouy, which forms the middle through the rest of the depth.

Two leagues of ground on the mine' called the mine of M. La Mothe, the front looking towards the northeast, the prairie of the said mine making the middle point of the two leagues.

One league fronting on the Mississippi, at the place called the Great Marsh, adjoining on one side to the Illinois Indians, settled near Fort de Chartres, with a depth of two leagues; this place being the situation which has been granted to him for the raising of provisions, and to enable him to furnish them to all the settlements he shall make upon the mines. The day and year above written. At Fort de Chartres.


[ *557 ] * St. Vrain's (now John Smith's, of T.) claim to lead mines

in Upper Louisiana, (now Missouri.) Sir: James Ceran Delassus de St. Vrain, formerly an officer of the royal French marine, with all due respect, has the honour to make known to you, that being obliged to emigrate to the United States, by circumstances unhappily too well known, having lost his fortune and his situation, he has followed his family to St. Genevieve, and has associated himself to their lot, which your generous bounty and protection has been careful to ameliorate. The petitioner, during this interval, has had the good fortune to render himself useful to the government that has received him, by using all his efforts to show his zeal, his activity, and his devotedness, against a party of French, who dared to menace the Spanish possessions. The knowledge of mineralogy, possessed by the petitioner, has induced his father to make over to him the contract which he had formed with the government for the supply of a certain quantity of lead. With a view the more easily to fulál the conditions entered into by his father with the intendant, to satisfy the government, and to place himself in circumstances which shall insure to him, at a future day, an honourable existence, the petitioner asks you to

grant, in full property, to him and to his heirs, ten thousand superficial arpents of land, with the special permission to locate it in separate pieces upon different mines, of whatever nature they may be, salines, mill seats, and any other place that shall appear suitable to his interest; without, however, obliging him to make a settletlement, which, at the present moment, he could not do with success, seeing that the execution of his different works requires great expense, and that the objects cannot be effected, except in places remote from population and exposed to the insults of the Indians. These are favours which the petitioner ventures to hope from your generous bounty and from your justice. St. Genevieve, 16th November, 1795.

JACQUES DE ST. VRAIN. To the Baron de Carondelet, knight of Malta, brigadier of

the armies of the king, governor general, vice patron of Louisiana and West Florida, and inspector of the

troops of the same. New Orleans, 10th February, 1796.



Recorded in book No. 3, pages 28 and 29, of Feb. 28, 1806.


Surveyor General of Louisiana.

No. 24. Papers respecting Dubuque's and Chouteau's claim to

certain lands and lead mines on the Mississippi, five hundred miles above the Missouri.

Copy of the council held by the Reynards, (Foxes,) that is to say, of the branch of five villages, with the approbation of the rest of their people, explained by Mr. Quinantotaye, deputed * by [ *558 ] them, in their presence and in ours. We, the undersigned, make known, that the Reynards permit Mr. Julien Dubuque, called by them the Little Night, (la petite nuit,) to work at the mine as long as he shall please, and to withdraw from it, without specifying any term to him; moreover, that they sell and abandon to him all the coast and the contents of the mine discovered by the wife of Peosta, 80 that no white man or Indian shall make any pretensions to it without the consent of the sieur Julien Dubuque ; and in case he shall find nothing within, he shall be free to search wherever it shall seem good to him, and to work peaceably without any one hurting him or doing him any prejudice in his labours. Thus we, chiefs and by the voice of all our villages, have agreed with Julien



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